Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene

Player Bio

Mahela Jayawardene is one of Sri Lanka's most celebrated cricketers. Born on May 27, 1977, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he started playing cricket at a young age and quickly developed a passion for the sport. His father was an avid sportsman who played hockey for Sri Lanka while his mother was also involved in sports as a netball player. Growing up in this environment inspired Jayawardene to take up cricket from an early age. He went on to represent Sri Lanka in over 650 international matches and scored more than 25,000 runs across all formats. A former captain of the national team and now a highly respected coach, Jayawardene is known for his tactical acumen, prolific run-scoring ability, and sharp fielding skills.

He started playing cricket at Nalanda College, where he honed his skills as a fast bowler before shifting to batting later on. His first coach was none other than his uncle, Chaminda Mendis, who recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue cricket professionally.

Despite facing several challenges early on in his career due to financial constraints and limited opportunities at the domestic level, Jayawardene remained determined to succeed. He made his debut for the Sinhalese Sports Club at the age of 18 and soon caught the attention of national selectors.

Rise to Prominence

Jayawardene's rise to prominence came during Sri Lanka's tour of England in 1998 where he announced himself with an impressive century against Derbyshire in a warm-up match. He then made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe later that year and quickly established himself as a key member of the Sri Lankan team.

A few years later, in 2001, Jayawardene made his Test debut against India. He struggled initially but soon found his footing, scoring his first Test century against New Zealand in only his fourth match. From then on, he never looked back and went on to become one of Sri Lanka's greatest batsmen.

Jayawardene's international career was marked by many notable achievements, including leading Sri Lanka to victory in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2008 Asia Cup. He was also instrumental in taking Sri Lanka to the finals of the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups as well as the finals of the ICC World T20 in 2009 and 2012.

Mahela Jayawardene – Cricketing Career 

Jayawardene played a total of 149 Test matches for Sri Lanka, scoring over 11,800 runs at an average of almost 50. His highest score of 374 runs came against South Africa in Colombo in 2006 and is still regarded as one of the finest innings ever played by a Sri Lankan cricketer. He also scored six double centuries in Tests, which is a record for a non-Indian Asian player.

In ODIs, Jayawardene amassed over 12,650 runs at an average of just under 34 with the help of nineteen centuries. He was particularly effective while chasing targets, often coming up with crucial innings under pressure. His ability to pace his innings according to match situations was highly impressive.

Jayawardene retired from international cricket in March 2015 after playing his last ODI against South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground. However, he continued playing domestic T20 leagues across the world for a few more years before retiring completely from all forms of cricket in September 2018.

Outside tournaments and accolades, Jayawardene was known for his tactical acumen as a captain, especially in limited-overs cricket. He also formed a strong partnership with Kumar Sangakkara both on and off the field, which led to many memorable moments for Sri Lankan cricket.

Jayawardene is the head coach of the Mumbai Indians franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has also served as a consultant coach for the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team from time to time. In November 2021, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding contribution to international cricket.

Mahela Jayawardene – Major Tournaments and Series

Mahela Jayawardene is one of the greatest Sri Lankan cricketers to have ever played the game. He has represented his country in numerous international tournaments, including the ICC World Cup, Champions Trophy, and World T20.

As captain, he led Sri Lanka to win the 2008 Asia Cup and the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. He also reached five major tournament finals with his team, including the 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and 2012 ICC World Twenty20.

Jayawardene’s performance in most of these tournaments has been nothing short of spectacular. In the 2007 Cricket World Cup final against Australia, he scored a brilliant half-century but it wasn't enough as they ended up losing the match. In the 2011 Cricket World Cup final against India, he played a vital knock of 103 runs but unfortunately ended up on the losing side again. However, he did manage to win silverware with his team when they clinched their first ICC trophy by winning the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in April 2014.

Jayawardene is renowned for playing important innings in crunch situations. One such memorable moment was his century against Zimbabwe in the group stage match during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in West Indies held in May 2010. It was an incredible knock as he scored an unbeaten hundred off just sixty balls to help Sri Lanka chase down a target of 173 runs with ease.

Jayawardene also had a successful stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played for various franchises including Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala before becoming head coach of Mumbai Indians. He is widely regarded as one of IPL’s most successful batsmen owing to his exceptional performances during his playing days.

Mahela Jayawardene – Playing Role and Skills

Mahela Jayawardene was a top-order batsman who played a crucial role in Sri Lanka's batting line-up for over a decade. He is renowned for his princely drives and flicks, which made him one of the most elegant batsmen to have ever played the game.

Jayawardene's technique against spin bowling was particularly outstanding as he used his feet well to get to the pitch of the ball and play it on merit. He also had an excellent understanding of field placements, which helped him get maximum runs whenever there was an opportunity.

Jayawardene was also an exceptional fielder who had quick reflexes and safe hands. His ability to take sharp catches in close-in positions made him a valuable asset in all formats of the game.

Mahela Jayawardene – Personality and Off-the-Field Persona

Mahela Jayawardene is regarded as one of the most respected cricketers to have ever played the game. He has always been known for his calm demeanour on and off the field, which has earned him respect from fans worldwide.

Jayawardene is admired by many because of his values both on and off the field. He formed a healthy rivalry with his teammate Kumar Sangakkara but that did not stop them from becoming good friends off the field too. Perhaps what sets Jayawardene apart from other cricketers is that he never let any conflict affect his relationship with others.

Jayawardene has been vocal about issues surrounding Sri Lankan cricket even after retirement and continues to make contributions towards improving cricket in Sri Lanka. He has also been involved in several philanthropic activities and was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Cricket Award in 2013 for his charitable work.

Jayawardene is married to Christina Mallika Sirisena, and they have a daughter. He enjoys watching movies and is known for his love of seafood.

Despite being retired from international cricket, Mahela Jayawardene's legacy continues to inspire many young cricketers around the world.

Mahela Jayawardene – Legacy and Impact

Mahela Jayawardene's impact on cricket is immeasurable. He is widely regarded as one of Sri Lanka's greatest cricketers, and his contributions to the sport have been unparalleled over the years. His tactical acumen as a captain, combined with his elegant batting style and impeccable fielding skills, have set him apart from his contemporaries.

Jayawardene boasts an impressive track record in both Test and ODI formats, with more than 10,000 runs scored in each category. He has scored six double centuries in Tests and has a high score of 374, which is still the highest score by a Sri Lankan cricketer in the format. Moreover, he holds the record for scoring the most runs in T20Is at the time of his retirement.

Jayawardene's influence on the game extends beyond just statistics. He has been an inspiration to many young cricketers around the world, who look up to him as a role model for his leadership qualities and immense talent.

Recognition and Awards

As one of Sri Lanka's greatest cricketing legends, Mahela Jayawardene has received numerous awards for his contributions to cricket. In 2006, he was named captain of the World ODI team by the ICC and Wisden named him one of their five Cricketers of the Year in 2007. He also received recognition for his sportsmanship when he won the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2013.

Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to win several major tournaments during his illustrious career. Under his captaincy, they won the Asia Cup in 2008 and reached four consecutive finals between 2007-2012 including two World Cup finals (2007 & 2011), and a World Twenty20 final (2009) which they lost but finally won under his captaincy (2014).

In recognition of his exceptional career, Jayawardene was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in November 2021.

Mahela Jayawardene is a cricketing legend who has left an indelible mark on the sport. His elegant batting style, sharp fielding skills, and tactical acumen as a captain have made him one of the most influential cricketers of his generation.

Jayawardene's legacy extends beyond just his impressive statistics and records. He has been a role model for many young cricketers around the world, inspiring them to strive for excellence both on and off the field.

When did Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene make his Test debut and against which team?
Mahela Jayawardene made his Test debut on August 2, 1997, against India.
Which teams have Mahela Jayawardene coached in domestic T20 leagues?
Mahela Jayawardene has coached the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, winning the tournament in 2017, 2019, and 2020. He has also coached the Southern Brave in The Hundred, winning the 2021 season of the tournament.
What are some of Mahela Jayawardene's achievements as a captain?
Mahela Jayawardene grew into an astute captain, leading Sri Lanka to significant victories, including Test matches in England and New Zealand. His greatest achievement as captain was leading Sri Lanka to the final of the 2007 World Cup.
Which domestic teams did Mahela Jayawardene represent in his career?
Mahela Jayawardene represented several teams, including Sinhalese Sports Club, Wayamba Elevens, Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Delhi Daredevils, Wayamba United, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steels, Sussex, Jamaica Tallawahs, Central Stags, Adelaide Strikers, Dhaka Dynamites, Somerset, and Karachi Kings.
What is the highest score achieved by Mahela Jayawardene in his career?
The highest score achieved by Mahela Jayawardene in his career is 374 in Test matches, 144 in ODIs, 374 in first-class matches, and 163* in List A matches.